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Shazam slims down after adding too many features

Music identification platform Shazam is providing Android users with a slimmed down version of its application in response to backlash after its original became more of a burden than a benefit with too many features. 

Data is one of the biggest factors for consumers when using a mobile app today, with many cutting back on usage to avoid overages. The new app, appropriately named Shazam Lite, occupies less than 1MB of memory, using little data and a user experience that is reflective of the purpose the app was originally meant for. 

?We're focused on providing Shazam in areas where connectivity is poor and available devices may be limited," said Iordanis Giannakakis, head of Android engineering at Shazam.

"Shazam Lite was built from the ground up with listeners from these regions in mind, so we can deliver the core Shazam experience to as many people around the world as possible.?

Streamlined offering
Shazam Lite is currently available for download on Google Play, and will be available in English in India, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines and Nigeria, while a Spanish language version is being released in Venezuela. Shazam Lite is available for free and is compatible with devices running Android 2.3 Gingerbread and above.

Shazam Lite will feature a limited subset of capabilities than the service?s full offering due to its scaled-down size and focus on small data footprint, but the essential spirit of the app?s user experience will still be the same. It will provide the kind of bare bones experience reminiscent the app?s beginnings that many consumers have been asking for since Shazam has expanded?some say bloated? its app in different directions such as social media and recommendations.

The original Shazam app currently weighs over a whopping 27MB on Android devices, which may not be a problem for consumers in technologically advanced markets but is a hefty price to pay for the app?s music recognition services in emerging markets where both memory and data offerings are scarce.

The app?s music recognition service works even without an internet connection by saving choices until the app can identify them with a data connection, further broadcasting Shazam?s commitment to spread the service to markets that suffer from a lack of data connectivity and data quality.

Even an analysis that does not consider emerging markets still produces an irrefutable fact: Shazam, a company that has developed an app that borders on bloatware in its current iteration, has pivoted towards making a more data conscious product. It is a trend that is likely to stick.

Emerging markets
Forward-thinking brands should look into investments with emerging markets if they have the time and resources to do so. With how rapidly economic growth is exacerbated by technology in the global marketplace, emerging markets provide one of the few arenas for replicating the kind of success that investment in China supplied ten to fifteen years ago.

Shazam Lite is a simple way for the brand to invest in foreign markets? the move required nothing more than a stripping-down of existing properties combined with targeting to areas that would want to utilize its service.

Shazam recently collaborated with PepsiCo for a partnership surrounding the MTV Video Music Awards by powering a mobile-optimized music hub during the show, allowing millennials to enjoy tunes and discover up-and-coming artists (see story).

Uber has also adopted an in-house approach to address the specific needs of those in emerging markets, streamlining support for both drivers and customers via a new in-application solution that promises faster response times than email, which does not work as efficiently in countries like China and India where it has significant investments in infrastructure (see story).

?Reach, interest in being inclusive and further monetization are likely the chief reasons here,? said Jeff Hasen, founder of Gotta Mobilize and author of The Art of Mobile Persuasion.

?Facebook has conducted business this way for years. While it was positioned as being altruistic?connecting all? there were scale interests that would make Facebook all the more valuable to advertisers.

?The same seems the case here. Brands can reach more consumers, which is important to those who want to reach demographics that don't favor robust smartphones."